IRRESISTIBLE BUSINESS: Network Building
I had THAT conversation again. You might be surprised how often it happens. It’s basically the same conversation with entrepreneurs, small businesses, and career professionals who have a new idea they want to present to their corporate team. The conversation goes something like this one.
I ask someone what he or she is working on.
I hear about a new product, service, or idea that has that someone truly interested, invested. and intrigued by possibilities.
I ask few questions and get some answers such as:
- Why are you the best person / team / business to make it real?
- Who do you know needs this idea?
- What core group of people will find your idea absolutely irresistible?
Whenever I have this conversation, it’s rare that people answering these questions offer much detail. They seem to know far more of the intricacies and inner workings of their brain child than they do about the people who will actually use it.
That’s not good.
If you’re going to solve a problem, the better you know the people who have that problem the more likely you are to be able to attract those people to you.
Influence: How to Attract Maximum Support for Your Business Idea
Attraction is the power of evoking interest or drawing something to another. Mere exposure can build familiarity, but it takes some compelling similarity — something that reaffirms ourselves and our values — to build a true and lasting attraction.
Start with your existing network. Don’t ignore the people who love you to chase the people who are ignoring you. Find your first support in your existing network. Look at the people right next to you, they’re the people you have already attracted.
To build the deepest influence build out your business idea, product, or service by starting with start with what has attracted other people to you on the deepest levels — your core competencies and values — to what you want to see happen — your business idea, product or service.
Use the first question to qualify your business idea.
Why are you the best person / team / business to make it real?
- Know your value. Who are you with respect to your business idea? What competencies, skills, and talents qualify you?
- Know what attracts you. What about this idea attracts you emotionally? Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
- Be invested. Why would you choose this idea over all others as where you invest your time?
- Identify your unique attractiveness. What unique value and values will you bring to making it real?
Use the second question to qualify your core community.
Who do you know needs this idea?
- Know who already values your competencies, skills, and talents. Who in that group will be most interested in what you’re doing? Who knows others who would be interested? How does your idea solve an important problem for them? How will you get their best thinking?
- Know what attracts them. What about this idea will attract them emotionally? How seamlessly does it fit what they’re already doing?
- Be worth investing in. What unique value and values will they see? How much time / money / resources are you asking? What’s their payoff for participating — what makes their work / life easier, faster, more meaningful?
- Identify their unique attractiveness. Who in your network will increase the attractiveness of your idea by participating? How will you identify them?
Use the third question to combine the first two and refine them into an irresistible offer.
What core group of people will find your idea absolutely irresistible?
- Name and claim your core group. Maximum support stand on deep relationships. 12 apostles can do more than 1200 subscribers. Who are the 20% who will give you the 80% of your support always? Who will spend the most time / money / resources on this idea? Focus there. Build your first offer to show you know them deeply.
- Raise the value in your value proposition. What does your core community love most about your idea? How can you enhance that, refine that, and deliver it more seamlessly?
- Lower or remove the irrelevant details. What does your community not care about or find irritating? How can you limit that, lower that, or remove it completely?
- Be uniquely satisfying. What would delight and surprise your core community? How can you introduce something only you might add to the idea that would uniquely satisfy the community because you know them so intimately?
Keep the community in the process. Constantly talk to people about what you’re thinking and seeing. Ask them if they’re having the same experience. Whenever community members offer valuable insight, think of ways to bring them closer to what you’re doing. Encourage your fans to ask their friends what you’re wondering. Tell them how you’d like people to think of you and ask if that’s what they’re saying about you. Solicit their suggestions, insights, and corrections.
None of us can be inside and outside a system at the same time. As you stay inside the thinking on your idea, product, or service, find ways to share what you’re doing. Invite your influence network or community bring you news of what they’re seeing. That outside point of view will raise their investment and prove your assumptions.
The closer you get to your community, the closer they’ll be to you.
And that’s irresistible.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
Liz, Wonderfully detailed post about keeping your vision front and center and ensuring that we’re constantly taking a look at it from the customer’s point of view.
Thanks for sharing your valuable insight, again!
Alasdair Munn (@ajmunn) says
Nicely done Liz. We can forget that we have already bought into our ideas, they seem obvious to us. We have skipped to the end where we are celebrated for bringing an amazing concept to life.
We are also conditioned into corporate speak and finding complicated, clever ways to organize and process. It can sometimes feel like there is more effort in finding the ‘cleverest’ or most professional way of stating something when in fact what is needed is to take a step back and un-complicate things.
Simple questions do not equate to substandard answers, quite the opposite. Simple is beautiful as simple does away with the clutter.
Dr Lokesh Gupta says
I have designed a gadget which can help provide critical care to sick newborns and children stranded in remote and in accessible areas. I am unable to build a prototype as I do not have the resources and the team to build one. I did send the concept to companies like Philips, GE Healthcare who manufacture such devices but my mail was never read. I seek people who can support new ideas and help them turn into reality